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History of Russia

Heads of the state

Vladimir I Svjatoslavich (? - 1015)
VLADIMIR 1 SVJATOSLAVICH (?-1015), the prince of Novgorod (since 969),the grand duke of Kiev (since 980).the Younger son of Svjatoslav. He won many battles with vjatichi, radimichi and jatvjagi; was at war with pechenegi, the Volga`s Bulgaria, Byzantium and Poland. Under built him werethe defensive boundaries on the rivers Desna , Osetr, Trubezh, Sula, etc., under him was strengthened and built up the stone buildings of the city Kiev. In 988-989 he brought the christianity as the state religion . Under Vladimir 1 Old Russian state entered into the period of it's blossom, the international authority of Russia was intensified . In Russian legends he referred to as the Red Sun. He was canonized by Russian orthodox church
Vladimir (ancient Vladimer) Svjatoslavich -
the grand duke of Kiev, in christening -Vasily, the sacred, the son of Svjatoslav Igorevich and Malusha, the servants of the princess Olga.

violent capture of Rogneda The traditional history of reigning of Vladimir, based on « the Story of time years » (the beginning of XII century), is: Svjatoslav, finally had been leaving to Danube, divided the princedom into three parts; Vladimir became the boss in Novgorod (970) under the request of inhabitants of Novgorod. After the death of Svjatoslav (972) there was a quarrel between Jaropolk Svjatoslavovich and Oleg Svjatoslavich; the last died (977.) Vladimir began to be afraid that the same could happen to him, and he ran over the sea to vikings, he returned in two years,he occupied Novgorod and declared the war to Jaropolk, Vladimir wanted to marry Rogneda, the daughter of Polotsk`s prince. The refusal of Rogneda led to the capture of Polotsk, the killing of prince Rogvolod and to theas Vladimir's wife.

After Jaropolk was killed, Vladimir began to reign in Kiev (980.) The vikings, who helped Vladimir, demanded the tribute, but Vladimir got rid of them, some of them were send out to different cities, and some were sent away in Byzantium. In 981 Vladimir got the city of cherveni , in 982 - vjatichi, in 983 - jatvjagy, In 984 - radimichi, in 985 - bulgar.

boyars and old people, Vladimir sent the embassy for In 986 ambassadors-missionaries came to Vladimir: bulgar-mohammedans, Khazar Jews, "Germans" from the pop and the Greek - "philosopher". Only the last sowed the seeds of christianity in Vladimir's soul. According to thethe test of belief; it appeared that the Greeks were the best . The boyars and old people have advised Vladimir to be christened, (987),following the example of Olga. Vladimir went to war to Korsun (Chersonese in Crimea), besieged and took the city. He had a demand to the emperors to get a hand of their sister - tsarevna Anna, they answered Vladimir with the consent, under a condition of christening. After the arrival of tsarevna, Vladimir was christened in Korsun; later he destroyed idols in Kiev and christened inhabitants of Kiev (988).

After the christening Vladimir made some more campaigns, successfully beat off from pechenegi, built the cities against them. As the Christian, Vladimir cared of education (the foundation of the first school is attributed to him) and of the construction of churches, having granted to one of them the tenth part of some land(996). Vladimir did not execute "robbers", « being afraid of a sin ». But "bishops" advised him, and Vladimir established the execution soon, however, again replaced by hanging. Vladimir thesent his sons to areas. One of them, Jaroslav Novgorodsky, opposed the authority of the father. Vladimir prepared for the war against the son, but got sick and died on July, 15th, 1015

As much as before the christening Vladimir was the ardent pagan (updating of cult, human sacrifice) and loved many women (5 wives, 800 slaves), so after the christening he became the example of prince-Christian. His generosity told on the richest feasts and abundant alms.

But some Historical researches show that Vladimir entered the Kiev`s board in 978 but not in 980. also the  News about varyagi and about Rogneda are doubtful, the Legend about Vladimir's love to women, being the latest update of the most ancient analistic sets, is not proved by the other news and is not plausible; it was made by the analogy with the bible history of Solomon and to make the contrast with Vladimir's subsequent Christian life.

Evidently the News about the arrival of embassy is the separate legend went down in the most ancient annalistic set. The content of speeches of ambassadors and Vladimir considered as a fabrication of the legend`s author; some scientists deny the fact of arrival of ambassadors and others consider it to be possible and put it in the connection with the political position of the East Europe and Front Asia. Some consider the speech of "philosopher" as the translation of the missionary`s speech,but the majority suppose it to be the latest compilation. the News about the test of beliefs admits as the latest update in the most ancient sets. It`s author could be the Greek. The preserved Greek`s news about the arrival of the ambassadors from Russia to Tsargrad (Constantinople) for test of beliefs appears to be the late fabrication. According to the most ancient sets Vladimir was christened in Kiev after the sermon of the philosopher (987).

In favour of Vladimir's christening in Kiev in 987 says a lot. The campaign to Korsun had been remaining inexplicable for long. In the end of 987 in Byzantium the commander Varda Foka  rose against the emperors and he nearly seized the throne. Emperors concluded the alliance with Vladimir on the terms of the arrival of auxiliary group from Vladimir and his marriage with tsarevna Anna, after he accepts the christianity. It is possible that the war and the capture of Korsun were caused by refusal of emperors to execute the condition of Vladimir and Anna's marriage, and the siege took place in 989. Having got married to tsarevna Vladimir brought from Korsun priests, books, utensils to Kiev. The christening of inhabitants of Kiev happened in 989 or 990.

Undoubtedly the new belief met some resistance about which the sources are silent. Only about Novgorod we know from the so-called annals of Ioakim that the armed struggle occured there. The christianity extended slowly in Russia under Vladimir. it is the unresolved question whether the metropolitans existed in Russian at that time. the most other news about Vladimir's time are authentic, though they have some legendary details and were created under the influence of national legends and songs. Vladimir's epoch was the time of the big cultural development of Kiev Russia, but its traces in sources of information are limited. Vladimir had sons: Vysheslav, Izjaslav, Jaroslav, Vsevolod, Mstislav, Stanislav, Svjatoslav, Boris, Gleb, Pozvizd, Sudislav; the twelfth -  Svjatopolk, was actually the son of Jaropolk

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